From a Detroit biker bar in 1982 to Panama, Deep Cover: The Drug Wars follows FBI Agent Ned Timmons as he finds himself in the middle of a massive drug cartel bust. The nine-part podcast drops July 13th via Jacob Weisberg and Malcolm Gladwell’s Pushkin Industries.
Narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jake Halpern, Deep Cover tells the tale of rookie FBI agent Timmons, who goes undercover with a biker gang after an arrest at that 1982 bar. “You don’t make progress unless you’re dealing with sociopathic, homicidal crazy people,” Timmons says in a new trailer — he took that to heart, too, spending years entrenched with the gang.
Over time, his deep cover bore fruit, as he uncovered a case that included, per the trailer, “drugs, motorcycles, an FBI agent and a dictator with a machete.” The dictator in question is Panamanian politician and military officer General Manuel Antonio Noriega, who was ousted by the U.S. in 1989 due to drug trafficking in what the New York Times called “the largest American military action since the Vietnam War.”
Noriega was the de facto leader of the country since 1983, and he used his post to engage in all manner of illegal activity — from cocaine trafficking to money laundering to racketeering. His dealings with “Gentleman Smuggler” Steven Kalish are also explored in the podcast. According to the New York Times, Kalish met Noriega in 1983 when he was looking for a way to launder $10 million in drug money. He then became involved in a scheme to smuggle hundreds of tons of marijuana to the U.S. “It was obvious to me that there were no limits to what we could do in Panama,” Kalish said at the time.
New episodes of Deep Cover will drop Mondays on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and other podcast platforms.